The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team returned to form after having its 17-match winning streak halted last weekend, starting a new streak with a 6-1 victory over Northern Kentucky on Saturday at the Yeager Tennis Complex in Highland Heights. The Crusaders upped their record to 18-3 (4-0 Horizon), while the Norse plummeted to 5-6 (1-4 Horizon) with the defeat.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders grabbed the doubles point in convincing fashion. Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) corralled a 6-2 win over Lukas Clemens and Mate Virag at No.1. Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis.) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) also won 6-2, getting the better of Blaine Carter and Court Clark at No. 2.
- The No. 3 doubles match went unfinished as Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) were engaged in a 4-4 deadlock with Javier Araya and Andrew Niehaus at the time play was halted.
- The first singles match to come to a close was No. 3, as Bacalla downed Clark 6-3, 6-3.
- Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) was also a straight-set winner, as he topped Adrian Isache 6-2, 6-2 at No. 5.
- After suffering his first setback of the spring last week, Schorsch regained his stride with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Virag at No. 1. That win locked up the win for the Crusaders.
- Brian Pecya (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) was inserted into the lineup at No. 6 singles and outdid Blaine Carr 6-3, 6-4.
- Dunn was victorious at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-2 over Isache.
- Northern Kentucky’s lone team point of the day occurred at No. 2 singles, as Araya nipped Kissell 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders prevailed despite playing without Charlie Emhardt, who was sidelined by a leg injury.
- The Crusaders are 12-0 against Horizon League opponents (including league tournament matches) over the last two seasons.
- With three regular-season matches plus the Horizon League Tournament and potential postseason play all remaining, the Crusaders are three wins away from matching the program record of 21 wins established a year ago.
- Schorsch and Dunn remain tied for the team lead in wins with 22 apiece. Schorsch is the team leader in dual match wins as he sits at 15-1 this spring.
- Araya’s win at No. 2 singles made him the first Horizon League player to win a singles or doubles match against the Crusaders this season. The last Horizon League player to win a singles match against the Crusaders before Saturday was Bassem El Mekawi of Youngstown State on April 23, 2016. Valpo is 8-0 in Horizon League doubles matches this year, and now sits at 23-1 in league singles matches.
- Schorsch picked up his 108th career doubles win, pulling to within two of Emhardt for the program record. Bacalla’s doubles win was his 74th, which ranks third in program history.
- Schorsch also grabbed his program-record 106th career singles win.
The Crusaders will round out the road trip on Sunday as they visit Wright State for a match that begins at 9 a.m. CT.